Ever since Disney took control of Lucasfilm in 2012, Star Wars fans worldwide have had grievances with a handful of projects that Lucasfilm has produced.
Perhaps one of the biggest problems since the buyout is the sequel trilogy. The newest installment in the Star Wars saga follows Rey, the newest representation of the Jedi in the Star Wars franchise. For the first two films, speculation ran rapidly on who this new character is and where she may come from. While Rey’s ultimate rise to her potential throughout the trilogy was an enjoyable story to follow, Lucasfilm’s ultimate creative decision for Rey felt incredibly rushed and confused many viewers.
In the last scene of Rise Of Skywalker, Rey travels to the sands of Tatooine after a staggering victory over the Empire. She pays tribute to Luke and Leia by burying both their lightsabers in the sand. Upon Receiving her own yellow lightsaber, Rey encounters a native who asks for her name. Rey answers with great confidence “Rey Skywalker.”
The decision to fully canonize Rey as part of the Skywalker family was not received well by everyone who watched. Regardless of the fact that she was graciously accepted into the family, Rey doesn’t have a drop of Skywalker blood in her body. Perhaps initially there could have been an idea to have Rey marry into the family. However, with the ultimate creative direction that Kylo Ren’s story was taken in, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards and there may be no further attempt to make sense of the name change in future projects
The release of The Force Awakens in December 2015 displayed a fresh new Character in Rey. It was very clear from the start that her story was far from finished, and that there would surely be a payoff eventually. Fast Forward four years later to 2019, and Rise of Skywalker finally gives us just that. The film featured the return of Emperor Sheev Palpatine, the long-time Star Wars villain also known as Darth Sidious. Palpatine is revealed in the film as Rey’s Biological Grandfather. Regardless of this plot twist, Rey still takes the Skywalker name.
Of Course, the name of the film, Rise of Skywalker directly refers to Rey and her choice to become a Skywalker, but why does she have to be? Rather than just sticking the Skywalker bumper sticker on another character, It could have alternatively been a bit more interesting decision for Rey to take the Palpatine name so she can change the narrative of her formerly cursed last time.
Rey Being the first Jedi to carry the name Palpatine would be slightly reminiscent of her former master Luke restoring the honor of his last name. However, there is a notable difference between the two. The Skywalker name was always meant to be redeemable, whereas The Palpatine name was not. Without a shred of notable goodwill in the Palpatine Bloodline, Rey would be burdened and tasked with restoring the respect of a last name that had been so brutally tarnished by Sidious.
President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy has spoken on the future of Rey multiple times and has confirmed another Rey-centered film is on its way. A film like this would most likely be the best opportunity to explore further into Rey’s heritage. Unfortunately, It seems that Kennedy already has a solid idea of what this film will entail.
“We left episode nine with Rey making a commitment to Luke Skywalker that she would rebuild the Jedi Order so here we are. We’re ready to do that,” explained Kennedy during an episode of Entertainment Weekly’s Dagobah Dispatch podcast.
It doesn’t seem that there is any current interest at Lucasfilm to dive into Rey’s heritage anytime soon. With a goal to rebuild the Jedi Order, it seems that Rey will continue to carry the Skywalker name as if nothing happened prior. Kennedy however did acknowledge during the same podcast episode that there are still quite a few eyes on what happens after Rise of Skywalker, and hopes to deliver big with this film. We’ll have to wait a number of years to see what the result is after this film is finally released. At least until then, The Skywalker name and legacy stay with Rey.